Disclaimer: Faramir, and all other things in here are not mine.

Ren: THANKS FOR REVIEWING!! *hug* Of course Faramir's the best!! No question there. And yes - it IS heartwarming to know that there are other Faramir fans out there too (which also means there's more competition. *grin*). I'm glad you're enjoying the story - and yes, I plan to follow this one up in a bit with another story about the trip to Rohan that was mentioned. As for Faramir's leg braces - since you're not the only person who's asked about that, there's an explanation following the responses to reviewers, which I advise you to read. And about the description (or lack thereof) - I looked back at the story, and discovered that I had absolutely NO description at all!! Thanks a TON for pointing that out - it just never occurred to me. I will try to work on that in the future. *hug* THANKS SO MUCH FOR REVIEWING!!

Frodo16424: THANKS!! *hug* *hug again* I'm glad you liked Faramir and Gimli's conversation. I could never picture Faramir as being sombre all the time - sure, he's had a hard life, but I think that, since he has such a strong personality, he would make that extra effort to always keep a smile on his face. Sorry about the lack of a Kleenex warning - but I don't think I'll ever remember to put one in on a regular basis, so you read at your own risk. *teehee* THANKS AGAIN FOR THE REVIEW!! *hug* *hug again*

Elektra12: *hug* *hug again* YAY!! Happy Midwinter!! I'm glad you liked the chapter so much - I'm sorry it took so long to get posted, but I found that one extremely difficult to write. But that's okay. ANYWAY - *hug* THANKS AGAIN!! *hug again*

Steelsheen: *hug* THANKS!! I know. *huggles Faramir* I feel so badly for him. ANYWAY - thanks for the praise!! As for Faramir's leg braces, I advise you to read the "About Leg Braces" following all these really giddy responses of mine. I spit on Denethor too. Isn't he just the evilest? How could anyone ever NOT just ADORE Faramir? He's so sweet. Anyway again - about the memories/present time - I sort of wanted to cut down on the memories, in the hopes of not straying too far from the story, which is really about Faramir having to live in the Steward's Rooms. THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE REVIEW!! *hug*

Szhismine: *hug* THANKS FOR REVIEWING!! It's really nice of you to say that this is good - it's wondrously encouraging. I think that Boromir and Faramir were good brothers, since Faramir seemed really broken up about his brother's death. And yes - actually, the extended edition was my birthday gift. Those scenes were really needed to make the audience understand Faramir better - and that scene with Denethor - I cried so hard!! *sniffle* My sister was laughing at me. Ah well. I'm also glad that you hate Denethor - I agree TOTALLY. THANKS AGAIN!! *hug* *hug again*

Okay. Here's what everyone (seems to be) waiting for:

~~ABOUT LEG BRACES~~ The idea for leg braces came from one of my British history books. One of the sons of Victoria (I think - it could have been Alexandra's son, or another one of the Hanovers/Windsors - or was it Anne? I don't really remember) had to wear leg braces for a while in his childhood, because the royal physicians thought that his legs were growing crooked. His legs, however, were perfectly fine, and all it did was give him a lot of pain for no real reason. So, getting back to Faramir - I can imagine that Faramir might have to go through something similar, which would give a basis to Denethor constantly telling him that he is weak. Also - since Finduilas died when Faramir was 5 because she faded away - I think it may be safe to assume that mayhap his birth may have been very hard/premature, which could definitely cause health problems for him, including leg problems. I would have included this kind of explanation earlier, in the actual story, had I known that it was confuzzling. Honestly, it was just a small detail I threw in for good measure, and I never really thought that it might cause people to scratch their heads. So I apologize for that. I hope this clears it up a bit. SORRY AGAIN!!


Chapter Eleven: The Funeral

A small group of Gondorian nobles gathered in the Memorial Gardens, two weeks after Midwinter. At their head were King Elessar and the Steward Faramir. Both were standing straight and tall, dressed in black and silver, beside the two freshly dug graves. A group of soldiers carried slowly a small urn on a pall, and brought it to one of the two holes in the ground.

Aragorn took a step forward. "We come to send the late Steward Denethor to his rest." Faramir bowed his head slightly. "He was a good and honourable man, lost like so many others, to the Dark Lord." He turned his head towards Faramir for a moment, and then looked back to the assembly. "But we must never forget the good he accomplished in his life by remembering only his death. Denethor's spirit lives on in the City that he loved and faithfully served his whole life." He gave a sign, and the soldiers reverently placed the urn in the ground. Aragorn knelt, and gathered a fistful of dirt, then sprinkled it onto the urn. "Farewell Denethor son of Ecthelion. Find rest now in the halls of your forefathers." The group bowed their heads, as the soldiers filled in the grave with soil.

When they were finished, Aragorn began speaking again. "And now, we will honour the memory of Boromir son of Denethor." Faramir closed his eyes hard for a moment, trying to stop the threatening tears. He opened them as Aragorn continued. "Boromir was a valiant and noble man, who gave his own life to save those of his friends. He was a friend to all who knew him, and loved his country more than anything." He sighed. "There is nothing I can say to ease the pain of his loss, for Boromir was, above all, a kind and honourable man. And yet, we still seek a way to give him that which he most sought - to be at peace in Gondor." Faramir continued his losing struggle against his emotions. "Boromir did not live to see this peace, but we can still give him the gift of lying in peace, in Gondor, in his own land." Faramir gave a quiet, shuddering sigh. "Boromir's body has passed out to sea. But we can remember him in another way." Aragorn looked over at Faramir, and nodded. He walked slowly forward, and placed one knee on the ground, before the open grave. From the folds of his cloak, Faramir produced the vambraces. Gently, he placed them into the shallow pit, and then walked back to the others.

Faramir turned to face the group, and spoke as clearly as he could. "King Elessar saved Boromir's vambraces. I can think of no better way to remember him than by burying them. They represent everything that was dear to Boromir: his country, his people, and the memory of the White Tree." Having said this, he took his place at Aragorn's side.

"May Boromir son of Denethor, High Warden of the White Tower, Captain- General of the armies of Gondor, rest in peace." Aragorn paused. "Hail, Boromir!" He cried. The assembly responded with the same cry three times, as was customary. At a sign from him, the soldiers filled in Boromir's grave, and then stood at attention around it.

Faramir walked forward with a torch. "These fires will burn until the very City crumbles, for they burn in memory of the Lords Denethor and Boromir." Slowly, he lit two small beacons, standing on either side of the memorial. Again, he made his way to Aragorn's side.

After a minute of silence, Aragorn spoke again. "We have honoured the dead as best as we could. And now it is time to continue with the work they gave their lives for." He led a slow procession out of the Memorial Gardens.

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Later that evening, Faramir walked silently out to the Gardens. Using all of his skills as a Ranger, he managed to leave the Citadel without attracting anyone's attention. Faramir made his way to the Memorial and stood before it.

[Father, I hope you have found the peace that you so deserve. I hope that I have not dishonoured you by having you buried in this manner. It is not according to your traditions, but the Fourth Age has come, and with it many changes that I think even you would not have been able to guess. As for myself, know this - that I love you, and that I am glad to know that you cared for me too. You are my father, and you always will be.]

[Brother, I miss you dearly. I think, despite everything that has happened, that if I could change one thing, I would bring you back. I wish there was some way I could, for I would, no matter what the price. I wish that you could see Gondor as she is now. I wish that you could be here to enjoy this peace. I wish more than all, though, that I could have an opportunity to thank you, for all that you have done for me. No man in the world could have had a better brother. For all those years, you were my best friend. You helped make me who I am today. You helped me through all the difficult times. And now there is nothing I can do for you, except to honour your memory as best as I can. I take consolation in this though: that when it is my time to die, I can look forward to seeing you again.] Faramir let the tears roll down his cheeks. Eventually, he knelt down, and wept for his family. But when he had finished, a strange sense of tranquility came over him. And when he returned to the Steward's rooms, to his rooms that night, he slept well.



Well, that's that. I want to thank everyone who reviewed. THANKS!! You really helped me along. *group hug* And of course - Happy Midwinter!! *opens up a box of truffles, and passes it around* Enjoy!! And I hope that you'll check out the forthcoming stories that are related to this one, when I finally get them written and posted. So thanks again, and Happy Midwinter to you all!!